If you’re looking for a fun little spooky read as we head into the colder months of the year, then look no further. Just in time for Hallowe’en, Werewolf by Night #1 is a lively one-shot that brings us a stylistic team-up full of monsters, magic, and mayhem.
After the popularity of the special presentation Werewolf by Night, we’ve been waiting for more tales about Jack Russell and Elsa Bloodstone. While we might have to wait a little while to see them on screen again, Derek Landy has a fun story to tide us over. And, with the beautiful art of Fran Galan, the story really pops off the page and draws you in. If you’re looking to fill that werewolf-shaped hole in your life, then this comic could be the one for you!
One of the things we love about Jack Russell and Elsa Bloodstone is that they work so well together. And yet, they seem to be complete opposites. The werewolf and the monster hunter. One who carries their guilt with a heavy heart, and another who dismisses it with humour and style. But their differences only make them even better together.
Galan creates the perfect juxtaposition from the start, with the Werewolf by Night in black and white, keeping to the shadows where he feels most comfortable. He plays with the shadows on the page beautifully, and it emphasises the feeling of the character. And then we have Elsa Bloodstone. Not one to shy away, the bright reds and oranges Galan uses for her hit you in the face as soon as she appears. But this brightness doesn’t deter from the rest of the art, it compliments it.
And as the different colour palettes complement each other, so do the characters themselves. Landy has a fun and quirky way of bringing out the humour of each character in subtle ways. A few little quips from Elsa, the way they speak to each other. Even down to how their thoughts reflect and complement the other.
Good Times With Old Friends
One-shots are a great way to show us a little more of a character we love. They offer an insight into something a little different from their longer runs. But the problem with one-shots is that there’s sometimes too much story for too few pages. And this is kind of where the comic fell down a little.
The build-up to the main story is fantastic. The drama and mystery are perfectly paced, and the introduction to the characters really brings out their personalities. For those who are new to the comic book versions of these characters, it’s a good introduction. We see their humour, the way their minds work, and the level of brutality they each bring. For those of us who know and love them already, this is a brilliant addition to their stories.
However, the climax of the story feels like it’s a little lacking. While it works well in the one-shot, it feels slightly rushed to get to the end. They’re building up to something terrifying and incredible, but it falls a little flat. While it still highlights their humour and powers of deception, it rushes the ending, and the resolution feels like it should have been bigger. But still, after all the madness of the main story, we’re given a calm ending which hints at (hopefully!) more to come. While Jack Russell doesn’t have an ongoing series at the moment, he’s set to make a couple of appearances in the coming months. With some team-ups in the comics and an all-colour version of the special presentation, there’s plenty of wolfish content to keep us happy.
Overall, it’s a fun story that’s spooky, bloody, and chilling. It’s definitely a good read, and one worth reading a couple of times.